Many people believe the phrase “Dress Code” is business jargon associated with workplace rules. After all, many jobs require formal attire with varying degrees of strictness. However, as far as formal social events are concerned, there seems to be quite a confusion. For instance, many people can’t figure out what to wear to a formal dinner unless it’s printed on an invitation.
Therefore, in this post, we’ll take a look at the formal dinner dress code for men so you can speed up your decision-making and arrive at any venue or event type in style.
Clearing the Misconceptions Surrounding Formal Attires
Unfortunately, the phrase “formal attire” is poorly conceived in modern society as most people think it’s all about suits and ties. In many cases, a formal dinner may require clothes most people don’t even own.
By definition, formal attire is the Western dress code category people typically opt for on most formal occasions, such as weddings, confirmations, funerals, and holiday parties. While clothing norms and fashion fluctuated regionally during the Middle Ages, the emergence of more widespread conventions in Europe resulted in a more interconnected Early Modern Era.
People adhered to socially acceptable attire for different events and settings during this period. Due to their prestige and history, certain outfits became a standard in Western Society. For example, most white-tie dinners are esteemed sporting events like horse racing, diplomatic affairs, and award ceremonies. Therefore, it’s not something you should wear to a wedding, graduation, or birthday party.
Formal wear typically changes according to the time of the day, season, and event type. For instance, in night event often calls for a white tie. In contrast, a daylight event may require a morning suit with a tailcoat and vest. However, these strict dress codes are often subject to highly sophisticated social groups and events.
Formal Dinner Dress Code for Men
Now that you have a better idea about proper attire, here’s what you can wear to a formal dinner:
1. White Tie (Formal)
White tie attire is traditional formal dinner wear that requires following a very strict set of etiquettes to maintain its prestige. In terms of appearance, the attire is fairly simple and typically interpreted as a black coat with tails along with matching pants. The shoes must be black patent leather with black laces. You can also opt for lace less options depending on the strictness of the event.
The shirt, waistcoat, and bow tie are white. However, depending on the event, guests can incorporate some modern elements for a touch of personality, such as patterned or colored bowties. As mentioned above, this dress code for men will only come in handy for dinners at events, such as galas, balls, royal ceremonies, formal evening weddings, and stately affairs.
2. Black Tie (Semi-Formal)
As diminutive as the word semi-formal sounds, don’t let this fool you. A black-tie dress is one of the strictest dress codes you’ll wear in your life. The good news is that it offers a bit of flexibility depending on the time of the day. For instance, if you’re invited to a night event, this usually calls for a black tuxedo. Similarly, you can wear a stroller for daytime events since it’s more comfortable.
Unfortunately, many modern guests don’t know about this simple distinction, and you can find many wearing tuxedos at daytime events. As a result, many modern hosts specify the attire they expect their guests to arrive in to prevent confusion. One of the benefits of this attire is that many men own tuxedos and don’t have to rent one.
Furthermore, you can find many varieties in terms of colors and patterns at different stores. However, if you’re looking to stick to the original attire, make it clear to the sales staff, so you don’t look as if you’re headed to a high school prom or performing at an 80’s theme wedding.
3. Matched Suits (Business)
A business formal dinner attire is relatively straightforward. In most cases, it’s a matching suit, similar to one people wear to work but with a dark, solid color. You can pair this with an old-fashioned white shirt and a conservative tie, or you can spice things up with shades of blue, gray, and other neutral colors, depending on the suit color.
As far as ties are concerned, there’s a variety to choose from, including solid ties, diagonally striped ties, tartan ties, polka dot ties, and geometric pattern ties. However, when it comes to shoes, black, brown, and caramel are the go-to color choices when it comes to shoes.
Lighter suits are acceptable for daylight events, whereas dark, bold colors are recommended for night events. For light-hearted affairs, such as brunches and corporate parties, you can skip wearing a tie or replace it with a bowtie.
4. Casual Suits (Business Casual)
There’s a thin line between business and business casual, formal dinner attire. The conventional dress in these social gatherings is typically a dark blazer (navy blue, brown, or grey) with white, grey, or blue shirts. The word “casual” is often printed on invitations as it suggests the hosts are permitting a fair amount of flexibility.
Depending on the event and weather, you can also skip wearing a shirt and opt for a T-shirt, V-neck, turtleneck, or sweaters in complimentary colors. The idea is to fit into the casual setting without being too overdressed for the occasion. However, most people recommend not wearing jeans to these events and sticking to leather shoes with socks that match the trousers.
And there you have it – a simple guide to the formal dinner dress code. With this information, you can arrive at any event in the proper attire and never be under or overdressed for the occasion. If you’re not sure what to wear to a formal dinner, you can always ask the host with a quick text or email. Alternatively, you can ask other attendees you’re familiar with.
Furthermore, if you’re going to a formal event, you need to equip yourself with the right accessories, such as a wristwatch – preferably one that complements your outfit and personality. At Stuniii, we have an extensive range of premium-quality stainless steel wristwatches at great prices. Feel free to explore our options and choose the right one for any event.